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Undesirable Element
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 11:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Every time I reflect on an episode of Discovery after watching it, I find that I rarely have any problem with the specifics of WHAT happens. My qualms with the show always stem from HOW it happens - the execution. After all, Trek has certainly had its fair share of philosophical stories that somehow end up resolving with a meaningless action sequence or an unsatisfying action ending. So I'm not incredibly distressed in theory at the showdown of the season coming down to Burnham and Ossyra duking it out in a random room on Discovery.

It's all just in the WAY it happens. Having a big hammy villain can be fun, but Osyrra just isn't much fun as a hammy villain. She worked really well in the last episode as someone who would do ruthless things but still wanted to be taken seriously as a respected leader. When she plays it over-the-top though, she comes off like a second-rate Power Rangers villain.

The same thing happens with the character development of Tilly. In theory, I like the idea of Tilly taking a command role. That's been an established part of the character from the beginning. But then they just plunk it down here in this season with little or no reason. I actually feel bad for Mary Wiseman because she looks like she has no idea how to play it. Is she an experienced leader or a kid who's in over her head? The script doesn't seem to know, so why should she?

Adira - great character concept that ended up going absolutely nowhere. The show DESPERATELY wants her storyline to MEAN SOMETHING, and *I* really wanted it to too, but it just seemed to drift aimlessly after her introductory episode.

Burnham being the captain at the end should make all kinds of sense. It's where her character arc should have gradually been going all season, and yet, it hasn't. It's just plopped here out of nowhere. Again, in theory, showing the story of a character making a huge mistake and overcoming huge obstacles to finally take command is a great story. This show just can't seem to find a natural way to present any of it.

This show owes its life this season to Oded Fehr as Admiral Vance who can make almost any ridiculous plot point or character development seem almost credible. The man can deliver sincere in a mighty impressive way. He sold a lot of the nonsense this season that should have completely fallen flat on its face.

Of all things, the thing I liked most about this season is the thing I thought I wouldn't - the stuff with Su'Kal on the dilithium planet. The growing bond between Su'Kal and Saru turned out to be surprisingly interesting. Having Saru come to re-appreciate his Kelpien heritage through teaching another Kelpien about it was actually really well done. Doug Jones, of course, sells the hell out of it. Honestly, I think this show works best when it tries to tackle the characters' real emotional truths. It just can't handle the big action stuff with anything other than complete clumsiness.

I give credit to this show for trying to be bold and to take big swings. I just wish that it connected more often than not.
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Undesirable Element
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 5:59pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

The Voyager-J definitely got the most attention there in the big future ship show, but did anyone else notice the USS Nog there too? That made me chuckle.

Intriguing episode. I wish we'd gotten more from Nhan before she left the show, as it would have added some stakes. Very similar to the episode where Ariam died, which was intentionally referenced here several times.

I found myself engaged with Mirror Georgiou for probably the first time in the whole series. First, her interplay with the mysterious Richard Beltzer-like interrogator was just a treat. But second, having her grapple with what her status in the universe actually IS... that's long overdue. I could have watched a whole episode of just that conversation.
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Undesirable Element
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

Excellent review, Jammer. You raise some interesting points there.

I feel like mystical mumbo-jumbo is just the standard order when it comes to the Trill. DS9's "Facets" was absolutely ridiculous in terms of how the whole consciousness transfer worked. "Field of Fire" had almost identical mumbo-jumbo to what was presented here, with Joran being manifested as a physical entity that Ezri could talk to.

I actually really like the Trill as a Star Trek species, but from telepathic milky hot tubs, to consciousness transfers, to secret hidden murderers hiding in your subconscious, they are the mumbo-jumboiest of all Star Trek races. :)
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Undesirable Element
Thu, Oct 29, 2020, 7:06pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

I quite liked this one. It's an interesting take on the idea of isolationism - Earth itself is a paradise still, but it can't grow, protect its former colonies, or become more than what it is. I wouldn't be surprised if it's technically a paradise but maybe not all it's cracked up to be thanks to their extreme isolationist policy. I wonder if the Adira character will have some insight on this, having grown up on this version of Earth.

Burnham is so much better rounded this season. She feels a lot more like a real human being. Her interactions with Saru and even Georgiou felt more genuine than they had in the previous seasons. I think the addition of Book to this show was a terrific move - he's intelligent and charming in his own right, but he also allows Burnham to interact with someone in a natural, understated way. There's really no other character who has that kind of chemistry with her.

I still don't love the Georgiou character even though I like Michelle Yeoh a lot. The character's backstory is just so ludicrously weird and cartoonishly evil, it's hard to take seriously.

Saru becoming captain was a long time coming and a welcome scene. Doug Jones is really great as this character, and he manages to bring a unique take to the position of captain - much more serene and calm while still maintaining an air of command. It's impressive.

This is such a minor gripe, but I don't care for the way this show lights the space windows. Every time there's a window into space, there's a massive white light shining through. It's clearly being done for some sort of artistic reason, but I don't much like it. Makes sense if they're near a star or orbiting a planet, but this happens every time! It's odd.

I'm intrigued to see where we go next. The previews hint at Trill, which makes sense given Adria's backstory. The idea of a human host for a Trill is a interesting one - we've seen it before way back in "The Host," but DS9 definitely never picked up on that ability. Still, there is precedent for it.
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Undesirable Element
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 9:48am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I liked this a lot more than I thought I would. There have been MANY times when I thought an episode focused on Michael for no good reason, but here it made a lot of sense. It allows us to see this entirely new universe through the eyes of a single person. We encountered new bits and pieces just as she did. It permitted this new universe to grow naturally instead of providing us with frantic exposition like we've gotten in the past.

I wasn't wild about the idea of the Federation collapsing, but the concept of severely curtailing warp drive made for an interesting starting point. As Michael states, the Federation is more than just ships and technology, so I imagine that we're going to find that a lot of the individual member worlds are intact and continuing the ideals of the Federation, but the ability to link together in common purpose is a problem to be overcome... presumably in this season.

If Book is being set up to be Michael's new love interest (which I think is pretty likely), I think he's a FAR superior choice than Ash Tyler. Giving him a strong level of emotional intelligence provides him with a nice counterpoint to Michael's overtly logical way of approaching all problems. The actor also seems far more capable.

The continuity nods were nicely subtle this time around, and they did address some lingering concerns. Quantum Slipstream is still a thing, and Book mentions needing benamite crystals... which is exactly what was used to power the slipstream drive back in Voyager's "Timeless." The mention that time travel technology has been destroyed and banned after the Temporal Wars alludes to that ridiculous plot from Enterprise and nicely eliminates that can of worms from being opened. After all, if time travel is as everyday as that plotline indicated, we'd have a completely unworkable mess on our hands.

I'm weirdly looking forward to the rest of the story. And I wasn't expecting to say that.
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The Undesirable Element
Tue, Feb 24, 2009, 11:43pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: BSG S4: No Exit

I couldn't help but be reminded of DS9's "Rapture" with regards to the Kara/Anders plot. In the DS9 episode, Sisko finds all sorts of divine truths as a result of a brain injury, and Jake has a brain surgery performed to save his father.

If one is going to borrow a page from DS9, that's a darn good place to start. And since Ron Moore wrote for that show too, he's really only elaborating on his own themes.
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Undesirable Element
Wed, Dec 31, 2008, 2:06pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: BSG S4: Faith

I'm curious... did you score these episodes as you watched them originally, or are you basing your opinion on how they all fit in to the overall storyline of these first ten episodes? (I assume you've seen all the episodes by now.)
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